National Human Rights Commission

National Human Rights Commission

News: For the 2nd time in a decade, the UN-backed Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions (GANHRI) deferred the accreditation of the National Human Rights Commission, India (NHRC-India).

What is GANHRI?
 GAHNRI is a global network of NHRIs which is constituted as a non-profit entity (under Swiss law) and Secretariat support is provided by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).
 It coordinates the relationship between NHRIs and the UN human rights system.
 It is the only non-UN body whose internal accreditation system grants access to UN committees – speaking rights and seating at human rights treaty bodies.

What is the Paris principles?
 They were defined in 1991 and were adopted by the UN Human Rights Commission (1992) and the UN General Assembly (1993).
 They provide the international benchmarks against which NHRI can be accredited.
 They set out 6 main criteria that NHRIs are required to meet. The criteria are mandate and competence, autonomy from the government, independence guaranteed by a statute or Constitution, pluralism, adequate resources and adequate powers of investigation.
 Institutions accredited with “A status” means full compliance with the Paris Principles.

Why is the accreditation of NHRC-India deferred?
 Lack of independence (political interference in appointments), Lack of diversity (in staff and leadership) and accountability.
 Insufficient action to protect marginalized communities, religious minorities, and human rights defenders.
 Police involvement in probes into human rights violations.
 Civil society participation isn’t encouraged enough.

Way Forward
 Comply with utmost sincerity all the provisions enshrined in Paris principles.
 Implement the decisions and recommendations submitted by NHRC and include members from Civil society, human rights activists within NHRC.
Source – The Hindu 

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